Labour Day

Labour Day
1 May 2018Public Holiday Book Now!

Labour Day, also known as May Day or International Worker’s Day is most commonly associated as a commemoration of the achievements of the labour movement in the US.

Labor Day 2018

The date 1 May is used because the American Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions in the US demanded an eight-hour workday to come in effect as of 1 May 1886.

Haymarket Riot in Chicago
This resulted in the general strike and the popular Haymarket Riot of 1886 in Chicago, but eventually also in the official sanction of the eight-hour workday.

1 May is celebrated in most countries around the world as Labour Day. In the UK the bank holiday is not fixed at May 1st, instead, it is observed on the first Monday of May.

Moscow Military Parade Labour Day
The Labour Day holiday received official endorsement of the Soviet Union in the 20th century. In most Communist states in Europe, the day is celebrated as the Day of the International Solidarity of Workers and often consisted large military parades with the latest weaponry being exhibited.

Labour Day in Europe
1 May was also a pagan holiday in many parts of Europe, Its roots as a holiday stretch back to the Gaelic Beltane. It was considered the last day of winter when the beginning of summer was celebrated.

During Roman times, 1 May was seen as a key period to celebrate fertility and the arrival of spring.

Labour Day Customs in Europe

England In England, the May Day celebrations include crowning a May Queen and dancing around a Maypole; festivities which made it the popular seasonal celebration in medieval England.

Sweden In Sweden Mayday is also a Christian celebration – the Mass of Saint Walburga or Walpurgis Night is celebrated on the evening of 30 April.

Germany In Germany, Labour Day was established as an official holiday in 1933 after the NSDAP rose to power. It was supposed to symbolize the newfound unity between the state and the working classes.

Italy In Italy, a main May Day celebration is the annual Concerto del Primo Maggio which takes place in Rome and is attended by more than half a million people.

France In France, Labour Day is a public holiday to campaign for and celebrate workers rights. It is also an occasion to present lily-of-the-valley or dog rose flowers to loved ones.

Bosnia Croatia Serbia Macedonia In Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia, and Macedonia the Labour Day is often celebrated with friends and family. It is a popular day for recreation and traditional roast lamb meals at picnics.

Holland 1 May is not celebrated as a national holiday in the Netherlands. There is not a strong tradition in the Netherlands to celebrate 1 May.

Labour Day in European Languages

France La fête du TravailGermany Tag der ArbeitSpain Día del TrabajoItaly Festa del Lavoro
Norway Arbeidernes dagCzech Svátek práceDenmark Arbejdernes kampdagNetherlands feest van de Arbeid
Finland VappuHungary A munka ünnepeSlovenia Praznik delaBosnia Praznik Rada
Sweden Första majCroatian Praznik RadaPoland Święto PracyRomania Ziua Muncii
Russia День трудаTurkey Işçi bayramıIreland Lá OibreSerbia Praznik Rada

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